I have done a bit of freelance writing in the past; in between my day to day fiction writing. I think a lot of writers do that. For me, it was a challenge to write within parameters about topics I liked. And I’ve always liked Arts & Entertainment. Part of the “Entertainment” world consisted of writing about coffee shops, which has led me here to Always A Cappuccino. Of course, when it came to writing about coffee shops in my own back yard, well, my growing city has it’s fill. A wandering spirit and love of discovering something new has helped me in my quest. But I found JanJou Pâtisserie by happy accident.
Truth be told, it was located next to my old nail salon. I hadn’t be to said salon in awhile. So when I went and saw what had opened next door, I was a moth to a flame. Now, if you are a fan of my coffee chronicles, you’ll know that my love of the Italian Cappuccino has me on a constant lookout for something comparable in my little corner of the world. So the day I walked through the glass door of JanJou, it was as if my dreams had been presented to me on a silver platter. At first glimpse, JanJou, named after the owners mom, is a mirage; a modem French Bakery in Boise.
My first visit, I had that “kid in a candy store” look. I was so enthralled. I immediately asked the owners, Moshit and her husband Chuck, if anyone had written articles about them? Before I got the answer I think I pitched them the idea of me writing about them. Without asking my editor first. (That email I sent as I walked out of the shop that day.)
Now, let me honest. Having this love of the Italian Cappuccino has made me a cappuccino snob. I like the tight foam, the small cup, the perfection of it all. I like the taste of it, the three sips. I can go on for pages about the moment it takes to drink a cappuccino, and I have. At this point, while it wasn’t impossible to get a good cappuccino in Boise, it was difficult. So I was a bit leery when I tried my first cappuccino at JanJou.
I ordered a small and was delighted to find out that is how they make ’em. There are no 20oz cups in the shop. They do not do any of their drinks bigger than a 12oz. It’s very European in that respect. So when I sat down and a 6oz cappuccino cup was placed before me, I was in heaven.
That first sip…well, it was as close to an Italian Cappuccino as I’ve ever had in the states and the almond croissant came straight from Paris. In a way it did. Moshit is graduated from Estella Kitat Oman, a leading baking school in Israel and she continues to take classes from renowned French Pastry chefs. Then, she brings all her knowledge and love back to us in Boise.
I’ve been back so many times since my first visit. I found a European Bakery in the heart of Boise, of course I’ve been back to indulge in the lovely Cappuccino and decadent French pastries. Sometimes I take some Vanilla Diamond Sables to go. As it turns out, cookie wholesale is how Moshit started her business before she opened the actual store front seven years ago. The shelves in the store are lined with tasty deliciousness ready to take home.JanJou is an experience. A treat. How can it not be when such care is taken in the making of goods that look too perfect to eat. One of the things JanJou prides itself on is using fresh, local ingredients.That sort of practice does raise the cost of the products being sold, but you can taste the quality and freshness in each bite and definitely in each sip.
The store is small. There are about 6 tables that seat two. There are several tables outside during the warmer months. And a line up of chairs are available at the window for counter style seating. A lovely place to soak up the sun as the fall weather in Boise attempts to become winter.
It gets crowded after about ten in the morning and if you think you’ll stop by on your way home from work or lunch for a pastry; its difficult to know if there will still be any left. JanJou doesn’t do ‘day old’ pastries. Fresh is key. Luckily, you can pre-order bigger quantities. The holidays are busy, and even though you can order online, they still have a cut off date. Just think, you could order a Framboise Verveine – “baked almond cream encased in a
butter almond crust, infused with lemon verbena syrup, garnished with raspberry confit and fresh raspberries” – and then you can pretend you’re going to share it with your family and friends.
This is one of my go to places now, Moshit and her husband have created a phenomenal blend of inspired baking and European cafe right in my little corner of the world.You can find out more about JanJou on all the normal social media spots. Follow their Instagram and they’ll tempt you daily with videos and pictures of deliciousness. Of course, the biggest favor you can do yourself, if you’re in the area, is just stop by.